Tom Trbojevic has headed to America to work with world-renowned reconditioning specialist Bill Knowles as the star fullback attempts to rewire his body after a spate of injuries have blotted his otherwise incredible career to date.
“Talking to a lot of people- he’s one of the experts in this field so I’ve got a lot of confidence and I am very open-minded to go over there and apply myself the best I can,” Trbojevic said ahead of his departure to Philadelphia.
The Manly No.1 will be put through his paces with 20 sessions scheduled during a 10-day visit that will see him complete multiple sessions per day as he bids to return for his side’s round one clash with the Bulldogs.
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The 26-year-old had his 2021 campaign cut short after suffering a shoulder injury against Parramatta which eventually saw him miss the Sea Eagles’ miserable late season collapse and possible representative honours for New South Wales as well as a World Cup triumph with Australia.
“Unfortunately, [injuries] are part of the game and I have dealt with a few of them, but I still love the game and I’m doing everything I can to get right and be back on the park,” Trbojevic said.
In December last year, Trbojevic sent a scare through the Manly camp when he went down injured at training with scans later confirming he had sustained a grade-two hamstring strain.
“It was quite frustrating,” he said.
“I don’t know exactly what I was thinking. I was obviously a little bit down- it isn’t what you want [to happen].
“I was really enjoying training in pre-season, so it wasn’t good. But I’ve moved on from that and I’m now in the process of getting myself right.”
Across his past four seasons, the former Dally M Medal winner has been restricted to just 44 appearances due to persistent problems with his hamstrings and the aforementioned shoulder injury.
But he hopes his trip to the States will prove to be the catalyst for improving his physical conditioning after overcoming the mental stumbling blocks that come with sustaining a significant setback.
“Being down is only going to get you so far,” Trbojevic noted.
“Once you evaluate your situation and know where you’re at, then you know that you’ve got to get yourself right. That’s the process I’m in at the moment and I’m looking forward to the opportunity.
“I don’t have too many expectations, but I’ve obviously heard a lot about this guy.”
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Trbojevic will be the third fullback from the NRL to head over to Knowles’ facility seeking treatment after Latrell Mitchell made the journey due to suffering two hamstring injuries in close succession.
“We’ve obviously saw what he got out of it last year and it sound like he’s got a few really interesting looks on things,” the Manly star said in reference to the experience his Blues teammate had.
Ryan Papenhuyzen is currently still overseas working with Knowles as he continues to work his way back from a horrific fractured patella and is likely to cross paths with Trbojevic.
The Storm flyer cut a similarly excited but apprehensive figure before he made the trip last week with both men highlighting the need to reassess their approach to training programs in order to reduce the risk of future injuries.
“I think a lot of it is to do with reconditioning the body and rewiring it to move better,” Trbojevic explained on his motivations for working with Knowles.
“I’m not too sure what the training entails but I’m really grateful for the opportunity and excited to go out there and learn a few new things.
“I’ve had a Zoom call with Bill, so I’ve got a little bit of an idea about what he does as a whole.
“I guess it puts less stress on your hammy and other areas of your body. I think in the short-term it’s definitely about moving better but hopefully that has a long-term effect.”